Google Wants to Make Search History Portable

by admin November 8, 2006 at 11:13 am

SAN FRANCISCO ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú About a thousand Internet digerati (developers, executives and media types) crowded into the swank Palace Hotel here for the opening of the sold-out Web 2.0 Summit to rub elbows with big industry names, get a sneak peak at some new services and try and keep current with the fast-changing business.

Eric Schmidt, Google’s CEO and Chairman, answered questions about industry trends and his company specifically, in an onstage conversation with John Battelle, author of a recent book on the search giant.

With Google famous for storing everything a user does at its various sites, Schmidt was asked if it might someday be possible for users to export their search history to another site such as Yahoo.

“We would like to be able to do that .. .it’s the equivalent of member portability,” said Schmidt. He added that such portability could act like a pressure valve to keep companies honest and doing the best they can to satisfy users and minimize, if not eliminate, bad practices.

Asked about standing up to the government’s request for search data earlier this year, Schmidt said what the government was asking for “a complete violation of privacy. Thank god a federal judge saw the wisdom our argument and made the right outcome.”

In the future, Schmidt said the company will always follow the law and the orders of a federal judge even if it conflicts with the Google’s privacy statutes. “If we’re against something we’ll take it to a judge, but we’re citizens and subjects to the laws of the land.”

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